Donald J. Trump will be the next president of the United States. For those of us around the world who are working to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life and leave this world in a better state than we found it, this is a devastating blow. Americans have voted en masse to give the political establishment a kick in the teeth but in the process they could have triggered the beginning of a decline that will end with the very biggest of environmental disasters.
Trump called global warming a ‘Chinese Hoax’. He plans to systematically dismantle all the positive progress that has been made towards halting man-made climate change during the Obama administration. He wants to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal all federal spending on clean energy. He wants to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. According to Lux Research, Trumps plans for his presidency will lead to 3.4 billion more tonnes of CO2 than the plans for a Clinton presidency would have done. This is the man who has the safety and even the very survival of future generations in his hands. We should all be deeply concerned.
The fact of the matter is that the results of this election make it more likely that global warming will rapidly pass the ‘dangerous’ 2 degree level and global temperatures could rise by 4 degrees or more. This decision will reverberate for, literally, thousands of years.
But it is important to stress on this deeply depressing day that hope is not yet entirely lost. More than ever, in the absence of sustained environmental effort from global government, grass-roots activism, local action and ethical business are vitally important to our collective future. We must all work harder than ever to counteract the negative effects of a Trump administration. We must not give up the fight for our future – in fact, we will all have to step up our efforts. So much is at stake.